The new behavioral approach to diversity & inclusion

Kevin Giddins is the diversity & inclusion practice leader at BlueEQ, creator of the BlueEQ™ emotional intelligence self-assessment and an Advantage thought leader partner. Check out our free BlueEQ offer at the bottom of this post!

Why do 80% of diversity & inclusion initiatives fail?

The traditional approach to diversity & inclusion is to change hearts and minds. We ask people to believe until they behave. It’s not wrong. It’s just not very effective. A few people get it. Most don’t and the paralyzing and inhibiting patterns continue.

diversity-photoHere’s the point: Inclusion is behavioral. Yes, it begins with awareness, understanding, and appreciation, but to “be” inclusive is a matter of skill. It takes practice.

Guess what else? It’s in the practice that the light really goes on. It’s experiential. You learn inclusion most powerfully when you practice inclusion. Why? Because the behavior produces confirming evidence that the behavior is right and that it works.

In our pioneering work in applying a behavioral approach to diversity & inclusion, we are seeing astonishing results.

Perhaps not surprising, most inclusive behaviors relate to emotional intelligence skills such as social perception, mindfulness, ego management, and empathy. You can talk about these skills all you want. And you can talk about the importance of diversity and inclusion all you want. But somewhere, sometime, somehow, the rubber has to meet the road. The employee has to put these skills to the test, and in the process, experience a personal epiphany that inclusiveness does in fact create business impact.

The behavioral approach to diversity & inclusion is based on a simple premise: Behave until you believe. In other words, until a person puts actual inclusive behaviors into practice—and is able to draw out the discretionary effort of people and drive collaboration to stunning new levels, there is no confirming evidence about diversity inclusion. There is no personal conversion. There is no business impact. The paradigm is still compliance.

But when a person does, watch out. That person crosses a threshold of conviction. She or he is never the same because the business case, the cultural case, the ethical case, and the humanitarian case for diversity and inclusion have exploded with real results.

If you would like to better understand how to validate your diversity & inclusion efforts, feel free to contact me.

Source: Kevin Giddins | LinkedIn
Republished here with permission

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Kevin Giddins

Executive Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion Practice Leader at BlueEQ
Kevin Giddins has toured the world speaking, entertaining, and enlightening audiences. He is a highly sought after speaker lecturing on subjects including leadership, communications, change management, productivity, working relationships, balance life, customer service, diversity, trust, creativity-fine arts and education. His audiences describe him as lively, concise, energetic, and sensitive to each participant.

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